A group of Virginia environmental, labor and business leaders has formed the VA4Wind coalition with the goal of making the commonwealth the offshore wind energy capital of the East coast.
The coalition has called on Dominion Virginia Power, the commonwealth's largest electric utility, to develop a large-scale offshore wind energy project off of Virginia's coast.
VA4Wind's primary members include the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the Green Jobs Alliance, Interfaith Power & Light and the Sierra Club Virginia chapter.
‘It's really incredible how much clean, domestic energy is untapped right here off of Virginia's coast,’ says Beth Kemler, Virginia state director for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. ‘If the commonwealth takes action now, offshore wind could power 700,000 Virginia homes within a decade, while completely avoiding the risks associated with burning fossil fuels. Unlike conventional energy sources, wind power doesn't explode, spill or combust.’
VA4Wind has collected more than 3,000 signatures from Virginians who want Dominion to take concrete steps toward developing offshore wind power. In addition, more than 60 Virginia businesses and organizations have pledged their support for offshore wind energy, according to the coalition.
VA4Wind applauded Dominion for its recent decision to study offshore wind transmission potential off the coast of Virginia Beach, but noted that research is not enough.